Select Committee on European Union Twenty-Sixth Report


The foreign policy, defence and development Sub-Committee (Sub-Committee C) of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union has decided to undertake an inquiry into "The European Union and the Middle East Peace Process". The Sub-Committee is chaired by Lord Roper.

Achieving a lasting settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East has for many years been a priority of the United Kingdom Government and of the European Union. Since the second Intifada started in 2000, the conflict has deepened and has led to significant loss of life, suffering and hardship on all sides. Recent events, including the war in Lebanon during the summer of 2006, have heightened tensions and led to renewed international attention to find a way out of the current impasse.

The European Union plays a significant role in the context of the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) as a member of the international Quartet (UN, USA, Russia, EU), as a major funder and through its operational missions. The Sub-Committee therefore believes the time is right for an inquiry into the EU's role. The purpose of the Sub-Committee's inquiry will be to ascertain:

  • What role the EU currently plays in the context of the Middle East Peace Process
  • Whether the EU's policies, diplomatic initiatives, and financial and operational instruments are effective and coherent
  • How the EU's policies could be improved, and what initiatives the EU could now take, on its own and in conjunction with its partners, to take a new process forward.

In the framework of this inquiry, the Sub-Committee will consider written evidence. The Sub-Committee would therefore welcome submissions on following questions:

    (1)  What should be the objectives of EU policy in the Middle East Peace Process?

    (2)  How effective have the EU's relations and activities been in supporting the Peace Process and in influencing the actors in the region, in comparison with the bilateral relations of individual Member States? To what extent are the roles of the EU and the Member States complementary?

    (3)  What is your assessment of the effectiveness of existing instruments in achieving EU objectives? What other instruments, if any, does the EU need to be effective in the Middle East Peace Process? How could the available instruments be used more effectively to achieve these objectives? Are the EU's policies and instruments coherent?

    (4)  How successfully has the EU operated in the framework of the Quartet, and with its individual members, especially the United States? How effective is the EU participation in the political process, given the constraints on dialogue with and amongst key parties in the region?

    (5)  What is your assessment of the EU's policy towards the states and international organisations in the region which have an influence or role in the MEPP? What more could the EU do?

    (6)  How well adapted are the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Euro-Mediterranean (Euromed) Partnership to supporting the EU's policies on the MEPP?

    (7)  What contribution have EU operational missions (e.g. EU COPPS, EUBAM Rafah, election observation missions) made to achieving EU objectives and advancing the Peace Process?"

    (8)  What roles have the EU High Representative (HR) and the EU Special Representative (EUSR) for the Middle East Peace Process played, and how effective have they been in representing the EU's position?

    (9)  What steps can the EU now take, including economic steps, to assist a return to and implementation of the Peace Process in the short and medium term? How far should the Peace Process be renewed or should we move to the final status negotiations?


Written evidence is invited in response to the questions above, to arrive by no later than Monday 5 March 2007.

This inquiry naturally deals with a very broad range of topics and it is preferable for individual submissions to deal with a limited number of these. Evidence should be kept as short as possible: submissions of not more than approx. five sides of A4 paper of free-standing text, excluding any supporting annexes, are preferred. Paragraphs should be numbered.

Evidence should be sent in hard copy and electronically to the addresses below.

Evidence should be attributed, dated and signed, and include a note stating the author's name and position. Please also state whether evidence is submitted on an individual or corporate basis. Please note that material which is submitted to the Sub-Committee having already been published or circulated elsewhere cannot be treated as evidence, but may be circulated to the Sub-Committee and referred to in the Report.

Evidence becomes the property of the Sub-Committee, and may be printed or circulated by the Sub-Committee at any stage. You may publicise or publish your evidence yourself, but in doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Sub-Committee.

Submissions will be acknowledged. Any enquiries should be addressed to: Kathryn Colvin, Clerk to the Sub-Committee on EU foreign affairs, defence and development policy, Committee Office, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW; telephone: 020 7219 6099; fax: 020 7219 6715; e-mail:

This is a public call for evidence. You are encouraged to bring it to the attention of other groups and individuals who may not have received a copy directly.

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